Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Laurel from Huntington. Laurel Wonders, “How is the world changing because of climate change?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Laurel!

What’s the weather usually like where you live? Is it warm enough for you to bask in the Sun every day? Do you need to bundle up before going outside? Is it always rainy, or usually dry? You’re describing the climate of your region!

Climate is the usual weather of a place. While weather can change in a matter of hours, climate measures the weather over a long period of time. In most areas, we’re used to stable climates. Even though some years see more rainfall or cold weather than normal, the overall climate remains the same. However, sometimes climates change. Climate change alters the usual weather of an area. An area could go from very rainy to mostly dry. It could even go from warm to chilly! However the climate changes, it has a big impact on the lives of people who live there.

Climate change can also happen across the globe. It can be a change in the planet’s temperature or a change in patterns of rainfall. Have you ever heard of the Ice Age? It was a time of extreme cold across the planet. Today, the opposite is happening. Instead of freezing, the Earth is warming. Its temperature has gone up about one degree Fahrenheit over the last century.

That may not sound like a big deal. After all, most of us wouldn’t even notice a one-degree change in the weather outside. However, one degree worldwide has a big impact. The warming makes ice caps melt, sea levels rise, and crops die. It also causes poor air quality and lack of clean water in many places. Experts believe climate change even increases the number of natural disasters like wildfires.

What’s causing the Earth to warm? Sometimes, the climate changes on its own. Things like our distance from the Sun can change the climate. Disasters like volcanic eruptions also have an effect. However, most scientists today say the rising temperature is caused by people.

Have you ever ridden in an automobile? Does your school run a heater during the winter? Do you cook food on a stove at home? These are all activities that add to climate change. When we burn coal, oil, and gas to create energy, we send gases into the atmosphere. Those gases trap heat and cause the planet’s temperature to rise.

Are you WONDERing what you can do to help stop climate change? The best thing to do is to use less energy and water. Turn off lights and water when you’re not using them. Walk instead of riding in cars when you can. It also helps to look for other energy sources. Many people already use solar and wind power, which can lower the use of coal, oil, and gas.

Whatever we do, we need to do it soon! Many scientists believe the rising temperature could ruin the Earth if we don’t turn things around. Are you ready to save the world? Spread the word. Help your friends and family make choices that are good for the planet. It’s the only home we have, so we need to take care of it.

Standards: NGSS.ESS3.A, NGSS.ESS3.B, NGSS.ESS3.C, NGSS.ESS3.D, CCRA.R.3, CCRA.R.6, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.W.2, CCRA.SL.1

Wonder What's Next?

We hope tomorros’s exciting Wonder of the Day does its job by making you puzzle over letters for quite a while!